Debbie Allen & Charles S. Dutton in Fame
Debbie Allen & Charles S. Dutton
Since I sort of liked "Step Up 2: The Streets," I'm not surprised I sort of liked the remake of "Fame."
Clearly my genetic code favors a lack of judgment when it comes to cliche bombs with musical numbers attached to them, especially if they recycle a story of teenagers with a yen for the business we call show, following their dreams, their feet, their hopes, their hearts, their muses, that sort of thing.
And yet I never much cared for the original 1980 "Fame." (
I suspect one's response to the shiny, happy, PG-rated remake, which stands in stark contrast to the R-rated pre-"High School Musical" original, depends entirely on your personal relationship to the old version. I didn't have one. I wouldn't say the remake and I are close, and it's almost fatally modest. But it has a sweet spirit, and it offers only one true moment of inadvertent camp: a (lame) finale featuring an African dance routine completely at odds with all the white bread we've just been served.
The village elders here at the
Of the kids, the one you notice is Naturi Naughton.
She plays a concert pianist phenom who'd rather belt out a singing career and who, in fact, sings the Irene Cara standard, "Out Here on My Own," from the original.
At one point her domineering father issues a stern warning against his daughter singing any of those modern honky-tonk songs (what year is this, 1956?) and it's like we're back at "The Benny Goodman Story," with Benny's Viennese music teacher crying out: "No, Benny, no! Not zat ragtime!"
"Fame" Movie Trailer
MPAA rating: PG (for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language).
Running time: 1:47.
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen; written by
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